Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I run and run as the rains come...

Nursing competition! Complete with dancing.
Mumford and Sons... never leave my playlist, please.

Oh, shame on me. Not updating in over a month. Granted, it’s been a crazy busy one. We’re getting ready for camp, and most things are coming together. We still have a lot to do, but I figure slow and steady is best at least until the teachers finish school in June.

So I wrote this a couple days ago, but I’ve sadly gotten sick since then. Luckily this is only the 2nd time food poisoning has been this bad, and I’m really thankful I have an indoor toilet right now. I went into work yesterday for a little bit, thinking we were going to have a meeting… of course people were busy/not at work, so I decided to leave since I was about to pass out at my desk. At least now I can sit at my home desk for longer periods of time without wanting to lay down.

Bad decision of the week = watching the rest of season 1 of Dexter before bed. That show is so freaky, yet I can’t stop watching. It give me REALLY wacked out dreams. Coupled with my fever/chills combo, it kind of made for a restless night.

Since my last update, I think I was in the middle of my month of straight work.  I didn’t mind, but it was nice to have a real day off after that. Between various Nursing competitions, camp meetings, and event organizing, I’ve been redonkulously busy (I know that’s not a word, but it’s my blog, darn it).
Snowing on May 21st. 

Since the start of May, it’s been COLD. Confusing to most of us, since April was so warm I had to keep my windows open most of the time. Now that the heat has shut off (back to tumpin bathing…) and the temperatures dropped again, my apartment hasn’t been so nice and warm. Sadly I cannot start fires in the apartment, so my little Peace Corps heater has been my best friend on the (now shortening) cold lonely nights. Today, however... it's 80 degrees. CHOOSE ONE, MONGOLIA. You're about as bad as Michigan!

Next came my birthday! I’m 25. Oi. My 3rd b-day in a row outside of America (England, Japan, Mongolia!). I should take this moment to say happy anniversary to this blog, since I remember doing a birthday blog note when we were in Kyoto! Anyway, it was a nice low-key event. My birthday (May 12th) is on the same day as nurse’s day (how appropriate?), but since we did nurse’s day activities beforehand, the teachers and Nema took me out to dinner, then my coworkers took me out for cake and karaoke. :) On Saturday, Alex brought over a cake and wine and we watched Glee with Nema.

My candle was on FIRE. And singing happy birthday!
Hospital peeps and some of the English teachers!
Cake cutting pose.
Karaoke and dancing!
Just last week I took a quick trip to the capital to do work for camp. I took my dear Mika along, so as to get his manhood surgically removed. He did VERY well and I was impressed with his ability to sleep for 10 hours. I don’t know the word for neuter in Mongolian, so my CPs and I had the code word “snip snip” with hand actions. Or “no make babies” (in Mongolian). He’s pretty chilled out now, which I’m happy about. Crazy cat. I wasn’t so excited to go to the capital (had another attempted pick-pocketing, ugh), but I got to see Tim, Ned, Justin and Ashley (actually, both of the J&A married couples!). The two former I hadn’t seen since December… although it really didn’t feel like I hadn’t seen them in that long since we talk a bunch. Tim and Ned are going to be the health trainers for the summer in Darkhan (north 3 hours from the capital). I’m hoping I’ll be able to pop by to visit, maybe in August.

And summer! Summer! Swimming, sun, car rides, camel rides, horse rides… the family is coming!!
Mom, Konrad and Monika are due to arrive in Mongolia on July 10th! :) I have a whole itinerary planned, which may or may not actually go well (because… well, it’s Mongolia. I know this country by now). I know they’ll be great travelers and we’ll have a great time regardless, but I want things to go semi-smoothly, at least. I wish Dad could have been able to experience Mongolia too, but I bet he’ll be with us in spirit.

Other things of note:
-As much as I get frustrated in the capital city (pick-pocketers, cab drivers that rip you off, expensive everything, etc), I always know I can come back to my town and find the nicest, most caring people I’ve ever met. For example, when I pulled up on the bus, I had a bunch of stuff and right away a man with his daughter asked if I needed a ride. After taking me to my apartment, they offered to help me carry the stuff up to my place. The daughter was even brave enough to carry Mika’s carrier! (Mongolians are generally freaked out by cats) When I offered some more money because they had been so nice, the man refused but let his daughter take the money after I insisted.
-I learn something new about myself and Mongolia everyday.
-If there’s a new product on the store shelves, there’s a chance that you might not be able to buy it because the cashiers don’t know what it is.
-Community (the show) drinking games are the best. Troy and Abed in the moooorning!
-When I learn a new Mongolian song, I am guaranteed to sing it at least twice in a row on special occasions. This includes birthdays!
-Tuya is my official #2 Mongolian Mom.
-Empty milk cartons make perfectly acceptable barf bags.
-Those 10-hour bus rides are an oddly good meditation/self-reflection place.

 That's all for now. On to pictures!

Todd's going away party! 
After the bar... move to the club.
You know when it's getting warmer... out come the billiard tables! 
Nurse's Day Lunch! The doctors served us food and drink. :) That's Tsolmon pouring the tea. She's incredibly nice, and she was actually my first office-mate.
...tumbleweed? Tiemshte! (Of course!)
Sarah planning out her world adventures while Mika sleeps. D'aww :) Also, the painting in the background (right of Sarah's head), I got during the Nursing Day dinner, for my "hard work and dedication". :)
The site mates getting together for some drinking games and awesome Mexican food!

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